Local zoning approval is required prior to submission of State permit applications. However, it is advisable to discuss the project with:
- The appropriate local planning department or commission
- The State Department of Transportation, Division of Highways
- The Office of the Fire Marshal
Local permits are granted by the individual counties and municipalities. This makes it imperative that applicants refer to the regulations established by the governing body in the area where a project will be undertaken. Each county administers its own flood plain regulations.
New Castle County
The New Castle County Department of Land Use, Planning Division, administers zoning and subdivision regulations for the County. There are four types of review procedures for non-residential development:
Site Plan Review is required for:
New non-residential buildings or additions to existing non-residential buildings, with a gross floor area (GFA) of 0 square feet to 999 square feet.
Minor Plan Review is required for:
- New buildings or additions with a GFA of 1,000 square feet to 19,999 square feet and meeting one or more of the following:
- Proposed buildings less than 20, 000 square feet of GFA.
- For lots containing at least twenty thousand (20,000) square feet of GFA of existing development, any number of expansions are permitted (including expansions in excess of 20,000 square feet of GFA), provided the cumulative total of all the expansions does not exceed fifty thousand (50,000) square feet of GFA.
- Any subsequent plan submission proposing a new building or expansion exceeding fifty thousand (50,000) square feet of GFA shall be reviewed as a Major Plan.
- Development that would be considered major land development in industrial or office parks for which a previous record major plan has been recorded to establish lots or otherwise depict the overall limits of development provided that no special studies are required for approval (e.g., Traffic Impact Study (TIS), Critical Natural Area (CNA), environmental impact assessment report, floodplain application, Water Resource Protection Area (WRPA), and subsidence.) The project must be such that any issues or concerns are minor in nature and can be evaluated without the necessity of Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) review.
- Expansions of existing institutional facilities provided that no special studies are required for approval (e.g., TIS, CNA, environmental impact assessment report, floodplain application, WRPA, and subsidence.) The project must be such that any issues or concerns are minor in nature and can be evaluated without the necessity of TAC review
Review for Resubdivisions
Proposed revisions to previously approved plans that will not result in any new lots or additional gross floor area shall be considered resubdivisions and shall be reviewed as minor plans for any of the following purposes:
- Lot line changes
- Establishment, elimination or relocation of any easements depicted on a record plan
- Changes to parking, loading and access configurations
- Changes in the design or shape of a building which do not materially affect the original design concept
- Minor changes to stormwater management areas or open space configurations which do not materially affect the original design concept
- Corrections or amendments to notes or other data shown on a plan
Major Plan Review is required for:
- New non-residential buildings with a gross floor area of more than 20,000 square feet which do not otherwise meet the definition for minor land review.
- Any development involving the establishment of a new public or private street, or dedication to public use of an existing street.
The New Castle County Department of Land Use, Licensing Division, issues permits for all building activity in unincorporated areas. A typical new construction project requires a lines and grades plan; drainage plan; sedimentation and erosion control plans; sewage disposal plan; and building, mechanical, and plumbing permits.